Monday, August 16, 2010

Brodhead - Covered Bridge Days

I (Jen) grew up in Sterling, IL. A nice place to grow up, but very different from the communities of WI that I knew little about as a child. When I went off to college at UW-Platteville (go Pioneers!) I began to realize that things really were quite different just north of the border. I was horrified when all the boys took the week before Thanksgiving off to go shoot poor helpless deer and was amazed when I learned that there was so much more to cheese than American, Cheddar and Swiss. One thing I appreciated most about Wisconsin though was the state pride and small town festivals!

This weekend we took part in the Brodhead - Covered Bridge Days festivities. The annual gathering of people from town and the country to celebrate...well...there is a covered bridge on the Sugar River Trail...but I think it's more of an excuse to just have a festival. Check out the website here. The highlight of the festival is the old tractors. Just off the main drag is a big field with: flea market, food vendors, old tractors on display and the kids toy tractor pull. I thought the tractor pull would be a great way for the girls to get more acclimated to country living in WI. They were divided up by weight and competed against 15-20 other kids in their class. I figured they would line up the 5 toy tractors and race (silly me). The goal in any tractor pull, toy or otherwise, is to pull weight from the starting line to the finish. In this case 40 feet was the distance. If a child could pull the weight the entire way they would move on to the next round and have more wight added to their load with the winner being the child who could pull the most weight the farthest. I was amazed at how competitive it was. There were 4 year old boys with looks of determination I have seen on Olympic athletes and slews of parents cheering and taking pictures (which I was guilty of as you can see). Some children travel around the state to various festivals and events in order to compete in toy tractor pulls! It's their sport!

Well, I have to say Kalena did pretty well, she was one of two little girls in her class that made it to round two, but then she was eliminated by all the little bruisers who must do this for a living :) She had fun and felt like a true winner. My dear sweet Elli on the other hand did not have that much success. Her load was quite a bit heavier than Kalena's and few children from her class made it to round two. She is very competitive, determined and a little too smart to believe me when I told her pulling the weight 8 feet was really great! It was just not satisfying to her to hear that we were so proud of her for trying something new! She was grumpy for an hour and deep down quite disappointed that her baby sister did better than she did. Ugh, the difficulty of parenting.

Take home lesson...encourage the girls to take part in different sports or activities from now on!


  1. Oh, Elli, your Aunt Gwenda can SO relate! (and Jen, you must be getting pretty acclimated to Life on the farm--awake and writing intelligibly before 6AM!) Love you all!

  2. Gwenda, love you too. Bryce Gets up at 4:15 am and drags me up with him! I get a lot done before the girls get up! We go to bed before 9:00 every night though. Elli says I love you too!